We are seeing this condition more and more in young dogs. They will often present with stiffness on rising on a front leg. They will still play and want to chase a ball. Typically young dogs, particularly Labradors and bigger breeds are affected. In the early stages, changes in the joint may be minimal. In some dog the lameness stops and in others it progresses. All of the cases will develop elbow arthritis later in life.
Dogs that develop elbow arthritis in middle and older age will usually have had elbow dysplasia as a youngster which may have gone completely unnoticed.
How do we Manage Elbow Dysplasia?
Clinical examination may shows signs such as joint swelling and discomfort on movement of the elbow joint. Diagnosis of elbow dysplasia is important in deciding which treatment option. X-rays are a good starting point but many X-rays are normal. Sometimes a CT scan and/or arthroscopy (camera in the joint) are needed to confirm the problem.
Sometimes there can be a loose fragment of cartilage in the joint. This can be removed by arthroscopy. Some dogs may need more involved surgeries. Some of these dogs are good candidates for stem cells and regenerative medicine.
All dogs whether they have surgery or not, will go through a comprehensive physiotherapy program including laser, hydrotherapy, exercise and dietary advice to mention just a few techniques.
If you would like your pet to be seen by one of the Physio Vet team, then the initial contact should be made by your normal veterinary surgeon. A referral can only be made by them, who will provide us with all the medical information we require in order to treat your pet. Once we have this information, we will then arrange everything else, but please feel free to contact us to discuss the process in further detail, or if you have any questions.